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Renovating Done Right

I heard from reader Manfung Cheung yesterday who runs Dutch design blog Inrichting Huis in Rotterdam because he wanted to share with you the renovations that he and his partner Lydia La recently completed in their city apartment. They decided to buy their first home — a two level flat in an old mansion that desperately needed renovation and their personal touch.

Manfung's House

You can see all of their before photos here, which I think is a great way to begin this post — to see where they started because oftentimes we approach a big project and it can seem daunting and we wonder if it is really worth the effort or not.  Manfung and Lydia prove that a little elbow grease goes a long, long way. These photos are of their beautiful new space which is light and bright — a requirement for some who want to avoid winter blues and even depression in cities that are known to be rainy and gray, as Rotterdam doesn’t have the best weather — it’s not Hawaii!

Manfung's House

Manfung's House

Manfung's House

Manfung's House

Manfung knows that it is vital to live in a home that fully supports you and allows for personal growth — he calls it a, “necessary foundation for happiness and success in life”. Large amounts of money and tons of space are not required to be happy — that is a bonus — the only requirements to make a house YOUR home is to find inspiration, connect to resources, get creative, tap into your personal style and be motivated enough to get up and do something about it! Kick your own butt! ha ha!

What a great house – thank you Manfung for writing in and sharing your space with us, especially before the weekend as many jump on DIY projects over the weekend — your home inspired me to work on my own tomorrow after I go to the flea market. I particularly love your collections, your wood floors, that darling mini blue SMEG and the Never Grow Up poster.

So tell me, when you start a renovation project, or even a decorating project, what are some of your fears? What often stands in your way? If you have any projects that you’re putting off, why? Perhaps together we can inspire one another to get a move on like Manfung did. Maybe even Manfung can help you with some of your dilemmas, so please comment below.

(images: inrichting huis)

Posted in Decorating Tips, diy on January 21, 2011

Wallpaper Cabinet by Shannon Fricke

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I have a giant girl crush on author/tv presenter/blogger/teacher/stylist/decorator/columist/and a million other amazing hats Shannon Fricke in Australia. I’ve been a fan of her work for a few years now and follow her blog religiously because she is such a breath of fresh, unpretentious air! You don’t always find that with multi-talented people, but with Shannon you do. She’s not only one of the best when it comes to style and decoration, but as a person this lady is a top notch class act. That’s why I not only want to point you over to her work today for a little inspiration but I have to show you this gorgeous cabinet that she recently did up for a spread she produced for a magazine.

Shannon Fricke

Is this not the best idea for an old cabinet? Paint it white and wallpaper the heck out of it? Love. This. Don’t you want to grab rolls of Florence Broadhurst and Cole & Son papers this very second and go a little crazy with it? Even if you don’t have a freestanding cabinet like this one, you can do something like it to the interior of any closet, or even a china cabinet or bookcase. Knock yourself out, Shannon did and look at the results.

Shannon Fricke

Shannon Fricke

I love seeing these gorgeous green and yellow tones together — so fresh and so signature Shannon Fricke as she is a great lover of greens, blues and yellows as you can see in the other lovely photos that I’ve included from her design portfolio and home.

Thank you for the inspiration today Shannon!

(image: via the women’s weekly/shannon fricke)

Posted in diy on August 23, 2010

Creative At Home

If you are looking for some creative DIY ideas for your home to inject a little personality then I have a few ideas to share! I recently picked up a copy of Creative At Home in Germany and found some sweet projects. If you live in Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and of course Germany then you can find it where most magazines are sold. You’ll need to buy the magazine to get templates and instructions but here is a glimpse of a few that I liked…

creative at home

I normally do not by Creative At Home since I but so many mags as it is — I like the projects and overall layout/style of Dutch DIY mag 101 Woonideeen (I wish they’d publish that mag in English) but this copy of Creative At Home had a nice cover and so I picked it up and instantly found a few projects that I could connect to. I sometimes find the crafting ideas and styles in magazines looking a bit too crafty if you know what I mean, whereas the ones in mags like 101 Woonideeen usually look more artistic and creative and less “glue guns and bead projects gone wild” if you catch my drift.

creative at home

creative at home

I like the idea of handpainting a coat rack like this one above, which show deer. If you cannot paint you can always cut out images from wallpaper or even fabric and use Mod Podge to adhere and also to seal it. Another fun DIY is to take two branches and use them to form a deer head and paint eyes on it – sweet art for a kid’s room! I think my favorite idea from the magazine is to paint a wooden table silver. It works here because they’ve used a table with lots of texture — it could look slightly tacky on a smooth table with no visible grain. I like how they’ve applied it very lightly, you can still see the wood in some parts making it a bit more weathered. It’s great that they skipped painting the legs silver, that would have looked very kitschy.

It’s all about knowing when to say ENOUGH when you are making things at home, isn’t it? Editing is so important but as important is self control and pulling the plug because often you can overdo a project and it comes out looking like an art project from a 5th grader. It’s a fine line, isn’t it? LOL.

Great job, Creative At Home!

(images: creative at home scanned)

Posted in diy on August 10, 2010

DIY Paper Lanterns

Are you ready for a little DIY action this week? Tina Fussell (aka Traveling Mama) told me about a video tutorial that she shot in her home recently showing how to make these sweet lanterns over this bed below with paper and string. You can easily make these babies on a budget and they are pretty for indoors or out – they’d be so sweet on a porch for a fun party!

To view Tina’s quick and easy how-to video, click here. The one that she makes in the video reminds me of a watermelon which makes me want to have a BBQ and decorate with only green and pinky red lanterns! Thank you Tina for the great DIY!

(image: tina fussell)

Posted in diy on August 02, 2010

Books:

Some of my books...

Further editions available: Decorate published by Murdoch Books for AU/NZ, Decorar BR, Alt om indretning DK, Inspirace pro váš byt CZ, Dekorácie SK, La décoration FR, Lust auf Wohnen DE, Sisusta tyylillä FI and Sztuka aranżacji wnętrz PL.

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